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DispatchFactbookOverview

by The United Kingdom of Providencia y San Andres. . 13 reads.

Overview

Reino Unido de Providencia y San Andrés
The United Kingdom of Providencia y San Andres


Motto: Justicia, Fe y Libertad



Geological Location


Population

5 Million (as RP’d)

Capital

La Providencia del San Salvador del Mundo

Largest City

La Providencia del San Salvador del Mundo



Official Language

Spanish

National Language

Spanish, various indigenous languages

Demonym

Providencian



Ethnic Groups

Mixed Ethnicity (46%)
Euro-Hispanic (24%)
Yainu (16%)
Afro-Epheronian (8%)
Other (6%)



Religion

Roman Catholic Church (62%)
Other Christians (15%)
Judaism (6%)
Other (6%)
Nones (11%)



Government

Constitutional Monarchy

King

Carlos II

Prime Minister

Jamie Salvador Puche Ceren

Legislature

Lower House: National Assembly; Upper House: Court of Nobles



Currency

Real (R$)

GDP

69,344 R$(Per Capita) #



Calling Code

(+902)

Drives on the

Right

ISO Code

PSA

Internet LTD

.pa


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Introduction


The United Kingdom of Providencia y San Andrés is a small, island nation south of the Vasconian Gulf between Marlund and Snefaldia. It has a rapidly developing economy that is based primarily on tourism and financial services. There are significant differences in income between the upper class, the working class and the working poor. The country is strongly Catholic, but has a long history of secular government.

Geography


The United Kingdom of Providencia y San Andrés is situated on several islands west of Marlund and east of Snefaldia. The largest island, La Isla de la Victoria or Victoria Island, is home to two of the county's three political divisions. The Department of Providencia covers most of the island, while the Department of San Andres clings to the northern and eastern coast of the island. The second largest island, La Isla Hermosa, is home to the nation’s third Department, which bears the same name as the island.

The country’s capital and largest city is La Providencia, originally known and still occasionally referred to as San Salvador del Mundo, located at the southeastern coast at the opening of the Rio del Oro. San Andres, the nation’s second largest city and capital of the Department of same name, is on the northeastern coast. Santa Tecla, the nation's third largest city, is located not far from the capital on the opposite side of the Rio del Oro. The only major city on the western coast, Antiguo Puerto Libertad, is also the nation's second largest port (after La Providencia).

History


The Spanish first arrived on the Victoria Island (Isla de la Victoria) in 1510, establishing the colony of Providence (La Providencia) shortly thereafter. In 1514, the colony of San Andres was founded on the north end of the island. The two colonies were merged in 1538 as the Virreinato de Providencia y San Andrés.
The native Yainu were quickly reduced to serfdom by the newly arrived Spaniards. Intermarriage, however, eventually created a large mestizo population. The Yainu saw their number reduced by the combination of poor treatment and disease, and most of the remaining Yainu were submerged into the mestizo community.

In 1821, Providencia y San Andrés declared independence as part of the wave of revolution that swept through the Spanish Empire. While Spain focused its attention on recapturing its largest and most prosperous overseas territories, the provisional government of the new Reino Unido de Providencia y San Andrés tried to establish its legitimacy by offering its throne to House of Bourbon. After their offer was rejected, they sought a member of the House of Habsburg. The new nation’s leaders finally found their king in Archduke Leopold Johann Joseph Franz Ferdinand Karl, the second son of Archduke Ferdinand III of Tuscany. King Leopold was crowned in the Cathedral of Christo Redentor in the Providencia capital of San Salvador del Mundo in 1822.

A permanent parliament was finally created by King Ferdinand I in 1873 and a constitution was authorized by King Leopold II in 1912. Today the kingdom is a constitutional monarchy in which the king has little power. The current king is Carlos III (b. 1965), who was crowned in 1998. The current Prime Minister is Jamie Salvador Puche Ceren.

Providencia y San Andrés is known primarily for its tourism industry and liberal banking regulations.

See the full article here:

Before the Spanish


The first inhabitants of Victoria Island (Isla de la Victoria) and Isla Hermosa arrived between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago. These early settlers left no permanent settlements and the islands passed through periods of occupation and abandonment. The ancestors of the Yainu, who are genetically linked to both the prior inhabitants and the indigenous peoples of Anahuac, Tehua and Mayagua, arrived in the 5th century BCE.

The Yainu were organized into several small kingdoms and occasionally traded with indigenous peoples in Ambara.

Spanish Colonization


The Spanish first arrived on the Victoria Island in 1510, when the explorer Hernando de Almargo arrived at the mouth of the river he named Rio de Oro in the modern-day capital of Providencia. The Spanish established the colony of Providence (La Providencia) on the site shortly thereafter. In 1514, the colony of San Andres was founded on the north end of the island. The two colonies were merged in 1538 as the Virreinato de Providencia y San Andrés.
The native Yainu were quickly reduced to serfdom by the newly arrived Spaniards. Intermarriage, however, eventually created a large mestizo population. The Yainu saw their number reduced by the combination of poor treatment and disease, and most of the remaining Yainu were submerged into the mestizo community.

Revolution


In 1821, Providencia y San Andrés declared independence as part of the wave of revolution that swept through the Spanish Empire. The revolution in Providencia was led by Francisco Hernan de Gotari and Luis Alonso de Benavides, two prominent criollo landowners. The then-Viceroy, Alonso de Sandoval, fled the revolutionaries along with a small Spanish garrison on October 23, 1821.

A New King


While Spain focused its attention on recapturing its largest and most prosperous overseas territories, the revolutionaries established a provisional government. In order to ensure that the prominent families who led the revolution remained in power, the provisional government granted themselves titles, with de Gotari becoming the Duke of Providencia and de Benavides becoming the Duke of San Andrés. Their lieutenants were given titles as counts and marquis. To prevent squabbling between the newly minted nobles and to establish the legitimacy of their new state, the provisional government offered the throne of the of the newly created United Kingdom of Providencia and San Andrés (Reino Unido de Providencia y San Andrés) to House of Bourbon. After their offer was rejected, they sought a member of the House of Habsburg. The new nation’s leaders finally found their king in Archduke Leopold Johann Joseph Franz Ferdinand Karl, the second son of Archduke Ferdinand III of Tuscany. Archduke Leopold was crowned King in the Cathedral of Christo Redentor in the Providencia capital of San Salvador del Mundo in 1822.

Reform and Progress


In its early days, the new United Kingdom was governed by the King through a council of nobles, known at the General Court (Cortes Generales). There was often tension between the King and the Court.

In the second half of the 19th century there was increasing pressure from the merchant and professional classes to have a voice in the government. A permanent bicameral parliament was finally created by King Ferdinand I in 1873. The existing General Court became the upper house of parliament and a new, lower house called the National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional) was created. Initially, only male property-owners of the criollo, castizo and mestizo classes could vote in Assembly elections. Initially, governments could also formed from either members of the Assembly or the General Court. A written constitution was authorized by King Leopold II in 1912 that expanded the franchise to all male citizens and established the primacy of the Assembly. Women were given the vote in 1926 and the franchise was extended to indigenous peoples in 1931.

Providencia Finds Its Niche


Through much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Providencia was a slowly developing country known primarily for its tropical plantations and corruption. Its beaches and natural beauty did attract some wealthy visitors who built large seaside mansions. This proved to be the beginnings of the tourist trade. As commercial travel became more affordable and practical over the course of the 20th century, the tourism became a large driver of the Providencian economy.

In the 1950s, Providencia’s lightly regulated banking sector became to attract attention from foreigners looking for secure and discrete financial services. Providencia y San Andrés soon became nearly as well-known for its banking and financial services as for its tourism. This led to a period of rapid growth from the late 1960s through the 1990s. During this era, Providencia also began a concerted effort to encourage second language learning at all levels of its educational system in order to produce workers better suited for the international tourist and banking trades.

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People and Culture


Providencian society is strongly rooted in class and ethnic identity. In the Viceroyalty of Providencia y San Andres, the castas system, in which people were described by the varying degrees of European, Indian and African/Epheronian blood, had formal legal, economic and political implications. The system was formally abolished when the Providencia y San Andres declared independence in the Revolution of 1821. However, it continued to informally govern economic and social status until the mid-20th century.

Over time, the Providencian castas evolved from the original Spanish version used in the colonial era. Today, the terminology of the castas continues to be used and often corresponds to the social status of various individuals. However, some social mobility is possible for those with advanced degrees, skills and talents.

See the full article here:

A casta was a Spanish term referring to mixed-race individuals in the Spanish colonies. In the Viceroyalty of Providencia y San Andres, the castas system, in which people were described by the varying degrees of European, Indian and African/Epheronian blood, had formal legal, economic and political implications. The system was formally abolished when the Providencia y San Andres declared independence in the Revolution of 1821. However, it continued to informally govern economic and social status until the mid-20th century.

Over time, the Providencian castas evolved from the original Spanish version used in the colonial era. Today, the terminology of the castas continues to be used and often corresponds to the social status of various individuals.

Commonly used castas terms in modern-day Providencia:

    Nobleza: not a traditiional castas term, but used today to refer to the Royal Family and other nobility.

    Peninsulares: referred to Spaniards born in Spain; no longer used.

    Criollos: traditionally referred to pure-blood Spaniards born in the colonies; today it generally refers to the white, European Providencian upper class.

    Castizos: mostly European with some native ancestors.

    Mestizos: mixed European and native ancestry.

    Inmigrantes: recent immigrants and their descendents, including African and Epheronian immigrants who came after slavery was abolished.

    Mulattos: mixed European and African or Epheronian ancestry.

    Indios: pureblood native Yainus; there are very few left in Providencia.

    Eferanos: descendants of African or Epheronian slaves brought to Providencia; relatively rare because few slaves were brought to Providencia; those who were received their freedom in the 1821 Revolution.

Traditionally, castizos and mestizos were considered middle class. Mulattos were often limited to manual labor professions, while indios and eferanos were considered lower class. Today, despite the presence of individuals from all categories among the upper and middle class professions, indios and eferanos continue to make up a disproportionate percentage of minimum wage workers and the poor.

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Although Spanish is the predominate first language – spoken by 94% of the population – many Providencians, especially those with secondary or tertiary educations speak some level of English. Some may also speak French or Dutch. With the economy focused on tourism and services, second language education is strongly encouraged and is seen as a means of social mobility.

Please see the full article here:


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Settlement and Ethnicity


The ancestors of the modern Yainu first settled Victoria Island and Isla Hermosa 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, but only established large permanent settlements in the 5th century BCE. The Spanish arrived in the early 16th century. At the end of that century, the Spanish began to bring enslaved African and Epheronian peoples to the islands. Intermarriage between the indigenous peoples and the Spanish, and eventually between the Spanish and indigenous peoples and those of African and Epheronian descent resulted in a majority that is of mixed ethnicity – about 46% of the total populations.

Among the Spanish immigrants were a small number of conversos – Spanish Jews who had adopted Christianity in the 14th and 15th centuries to avoid persecution and expulsion. Many of these began to revert to Judaism in the 18th century. In the 20th century, more Jewish immigrants began to arrive from Arabic countries. In general, these two groups maintain separate religious congregations and practices. However, the two groups have intermarried with each other and with other ethnic groups in Providencia. The Jewish community is considered generally well-integrated with Providencian society in general.

Religions


A majority of Providencians are Roman Catholics – about 62% of the total population. However, a far small percentage regularly attend religious services. About 6% of the population are Jewish and about 15% belong to various Protestant Christian denominations. Other religions, including indigenous religions, Mormonism and Humanism claim 6% of the population and 11% have no religious affiliation.

Society


Providencian society is still strongly rooted in a class system based on the Spanish castas system that blended class and ethnicity. At the top of the system are the Royal Family and nobility, who are generally of exclusively European descent. Most of the rest of the elite, comprised of the business elite, wealthy landowners and bankers, are also of entirely or mostly European descent. In recent years, there has been a greater measure of social mobility for those who are able to obtain a tertiary education and enter the professional or business middle class. Many of those in the middle class are of mixed ethnicity. Meanwhile, with a few notable exceptions, most people of indigenous or Afro-Epheronian ethnicities work in manual labor or in the countryside.

Providencian Order of Precedence


  • The King/El Rey

  • The Queen/La Reina

  • The Prince (Heir to the Throne)/El Principe

  • The Consort of the The Prince

  • Infantes, Infantas, The Children of the King

  • Dons, Doñas The Grandchildren of the King

  • Infantes or Infantas, The Siblings of the King

  • The Prime Minister/Primer Ministro and spouse

  • The Duke of Providencia and Consort

  • The Duke of San Andres and Consort

  • The Marquis of Puerto Antiguo Libertad and Consort

  • The Count of Santa Tecla and spouse

  • The Count of Isla Hermosa and spouse

  • The Count of Villa del Carmen and spouse

  • The Mayordomo Mayor and spouse

  • Other nobles

  • The Sumiller de Corps and spouse

  • The Camerera Mayor del Palacio and spouse

  • Other member of the Royal Court and spouses

  • Peers and spouses

  • Ministers of the Cabinet and spouses

  • The General Staff and spouses

  • Justices of the Supreme Court and spouses

  • Members of Parliament and spouses

Languages


Spanish is the state language and first language for 94% of the population. Some people in rural areas of speak various indigenous languages. More recent immigrants may speak their native languages at home. Many Providencians, especially those in the cities and who work in the tourism, banking or other service sectors, speak English or another major regional language.

Media


Interactive Internet-based media is challenging the dominance of radio and television among in Providencia. Nevertheless, the main broadcast and cable networks remain the most influential media outlets in the nation. There is also a small but widely followed newspaper industry, despite recent declines in readership and a shift from print journalism to on-line publishing.

Public Holidays


Date - Name
January 1 - New Year's Day
January 6 - Epiphany
Varies - Fat Tuesday (day before Ash Wednesday)
Varies - Good Friday
Varies - Easter Monday
May 1 – Labor Day
October 12 – Dia de la Raza
October 23 – Independence Day
November 1 – All Souls Day
December 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 24 - Christmas Eve
December 25 - Christmas Day

Education


Primary and Secondary Education

Education in Providencia is compulsory through 10th grade or until the age of 16. Primary education typically begins with Kindergarten at the age of five and proceeds from First grade through 10th grade. After 10th grade, Providencian student who wish to continue their education do so in either trade schools or preparatory schools known as colleges.

Public education is funded and administered by the central government. A robust private and parochial school system, funded by tuitions, exists in parallel to the public system.

Higher Education

Higher education is offered by universities that confer a bachelor’s degree at the end of a four or five-year program. Universities may also offer post-bachelor’s graduate studies, which may confer either a master's degree - typically after two additional years and the defense of a written thesis - or doctor's degree - typically after four additional years and the defense of a written dissertation.

Public universities are tuition-free, but do charge for room and board, books and materials and other services. Private universities are tuition dependent. About 15% of Providencian students obtain at least one university degree.

Leading Universities

  • Universidad Real de Providencia (public)

  • Universidad Nacional de San Andrés (public)

  • Universidad Autónoma de Antiguo Puerto Libertad (public)

  • Instituto Tecnológico de Santa Tecla (private)

  • Universidad de Artes y Ciencias de San Andrés (private)

  • Universidad de San Tomas de Aquino de Providencia (Catholic)

Sports


The most popular team sport in Providencia is football (soccer). Football is the only sport with a professional league. There are also a semi-professional leagues for baseball, basketball and “flag gridiron” (a non-tackle version of Excalbian football played mostly by women in Providencia). Football, baseball, basketball, and flag gridiron are also played by youth club teams and at the university level. Popular individual sports, include tennis, golf, swimming, and surfing.

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Government


Providencia y San Andrés is a constitutional monarchy in which power resides with Parliament and the Prime Minister elected by the Parliament.

Executive

Under the Providencian constitution, the King (el Rey) is the Head of State and nominally appoints the Prime Minister (Primer Ministro), who must have the support of a majority in the lower house of Parliament. The King must also give his assent to legislation, though there is no real mechanism for him to withhold his assent.

The Prime Minister is the Head of Government and leads the Cabinet. The Cabinet consists of 13 independent ministries and 7 subordinate ministries. Most of the subordinate ministries fall under the Ministry of Government (Ministro de Gobernación), which is responsible for security, administration and social integration, and the Ministry of the Interior (Ministro de Hacienda), which is responsible for the economy, environment and development.

Legislative

Providencia y San Andres has a bicameral parliament. The lower house is known as the National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional) and the upper house is the Court of Nobles (Corte General). The Assembly is elected to five-year terms and consists of 135 members. One third of the Court consists of nobles, one third is appointed for life by the King on the advice of the Government, and one third is elected to a six-year term.

The current government is part of a majority coalition in the National Assembly. The Prime Minister’s party, the Christian Democratic Party, controls 41 seats and its coalition partner, the National Action Party, controls 32 seats. The left opposition consists of the Labor Party with 34 seats and the Green Party with 12 seats. The recently formed Movement for Democracy holds 16 seats.

Judicial

The Supreme Court (La Corte Suprema) is appointed to eight-year terms by the King on the advice of the Government. The court consists of two parts, the Supreme Court of Justice (La Corte Suprema de Justicia), which is the court of final appeal, and the Constitutional Court (La Corte Constitucional), which decides constitutional questions.

Lower courts consist of both civil and criminal courts at the district and appellate level.

For information, see this article:

Quick Facts

Official Name: Reino Unido de Providencia y San Andrés

Founded: October 23, 1821

Type of Government: Constitutional Monarchy

Constitution: Written constitution authorized by King Leopold II in 1912

Head of State: El Rey Carlos III

Head of Government: Primer Ministro Jamie Salvador Puche Ceren of the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Democrata Cristiano – PDC)

The Executive: Head of State and Head of Government


Under the Providencian constitution, the King (el Rey) is the Head of State and nominally appoints the Prime Minister (Primer Ministro), who must have the support of a majority in the lower house of Parliament. The King must also give his assent to legislation, though there is no real mechanism for him to withhold his assent.

The Prime Minister is the Head of Government and leads the Cabinet. The Cabinet consists of 13 independent ministries and 7 subordinate ministries. Most of the subordinate ministries fall under the Ministry of Government (Ministro de Gobernación), which is responsible for security, administration and social integration, and the Ministry of the Interior (Ministro de Hacienda), which is responsible for the economy, environment and development.

The Executive: The Cabinet


Secretario del Estado de Relaciones Exteriores - Héctor Hugo de Benavides Martinez (PAN)

Ministro de la Defensa Nacional - General Rolando Felipe Córdoba Mungia

Fiscal General Real - Lic. Juan Carlos Serra Staeben (PAN)

Ministro de Gobernación - Lic. Fernando Esteban Guzmán de Gortari (PDC)
- Secretario de la Seguridad Pública - Guillermo Mauricio Landaverde Sanchez (PAN)
- Secretario de Integración Social - Lic. Lourdes de Jesus de Gortari de Benavides (PDC)

Ministro de Hacienda - Joaquín Ricardo Martínez Córdoba (PDC)
- Secretario de la Economía - Lic. Marcela Claudia García de Guzmán (PDC)
- Secretario del Desarrollo Nacional - Lic. Tomas Oscar Cruz Sanchez (PAN)
- Secretario de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales - Karla Michelle Tobar de Linares (PDC)
- Secretario de Ciencia y Tecnología - Lic. Luis Roberto Velasco Reyes (PAN)
- Secretario de Turismo - Marta Juliana Sánchez de Staeben (PAN)

Ministro de la Agricultura - Diego Francisco Guevara Carranza (PDC)

Ministro de la Obra Pública - Douglas Arturo Velasco Flores (PAN)

Ministro de Salud - Evelyn Maria Hernandez Molina (PDC)

Ministro de Educación - Victoria Roberta Fuentes Vanegas (PDC)

Ministro de Transporte - Oscar Gilberto Romero Sandoval (PAN)

Ministro de Cultura - Teresa Vanda Quintanilla de Flores (PAN)

Ministro de Deportes - Tomas Cruz Alvarado (PDC)

Procurador General Real - Lic. Gabriela Marta de Gortari de Guzmán

The Legislature: Parliament


Providencia y San Andres has a bicameral parliament. The lower house is known as the National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional) and the upper house is the Court of Nobles (Corte General). The Assembly is elected to five-year terms and consists of 135 members. One third of the Court consists of nobles, one third is appointed for life by the King on the advice of the Government, and one third is elected to a six-year term.

The current government is part of a majority coalition in the National Assembly. The Prime Minister’s party, the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Democrata Cristiano – PDC), controls 41 seats and its coalition partner, the National Action Party (Partido Accion Nacional - PAN), controls 32 seats. The left opposition consists of the Labor Party (Partido Laboral – PL) with 34 seats and the Green Party (Partido Verde – PV) with 12 seats. The recently formed Movement for Democracy (Movimiento por la Democracia – MPD) holds 16 seats.

The PDC and PAN are both center-right parties, though the PAN tends to be somewhat more liberal in its social policies than the PDC, while the PDC tends to favor more social welfare expenditures than the PAN. The PL, though founded as a traditional left-labor party, is now more of an urban progressive party. The PV agitates mostly for preserving Providencia’s natural environment while embracing some progressive causes. The MPD styles itself a moderate, technocratic party, focused on an anti-corruption and clean government agenda.

The Courts


The Supreme Court (La Corte Suprema) is appointed to eight-year terms by the King on the advice of the Government. The court consists of two parts, the Supreme Court of Justice (La Corte Suprema de Justicia), which is the court of final appeal, and the Constitutional Court (La Corte Constitucional), which decides constitutional questions.

Lower courts consist of both civil and criminal courts at the district and appellate level.

Read factbook

Foreign Relations

See the full article here:

Economy


The economy of Providencia y San Andres is dominated by commercial banking and financial services, tourism, and tourism-related industries (such as gambling), and agrobusiness exports. Other important sectors are shipping and transportation, information technology-related services, construction, and telecommunications.

Exports and Imports

Leading Exports:

Tourism, information technology support services, and seafood.

Leading Imports:

Agricultural goods, automobiles and consumer electronics, minerals and textiles.

Trade Agreements

Main Ports

La Providencia and Antiguo Puerto Libertad

Please see the full article here:


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Providencia y San Andres is a rapidly developing country with an economy based primarily on tourism and financial services. There are significant differences in income between the upper class, the working class, and the working poor.

Leading Industries


The economy of Providencia y San Andres is dominated by commercial banking and financial services, tourism, and tourism-related industries (such as gambling). Information technology-related services, such as tech support call centers and cryptocurrency mining, is a growing export sector. Agrobusiness exports, particularly in tropical fruits and seafood, remains important. Other important sectors are shipping and transportation, construction, and telecommunications.

Exports and Imports


Leading Exports:

Tourism, information technology support services, and seafood.

Leading Imports:

Agricultural goods, automobiles and consumer electronics, minerals and textiles.

Major Companies


Providencia’s major companies belong to “the Group of Ten” (El Grupo de los Diez), which refers both to the ten largest holding companies or conglomerates, known as "grupos," and the ten families who control them.

For more information, please read this article: page=dispatch/id=1053607

For more information on the banking sector, please see this article: page=dispatch/id=1053610

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